New Zealand is braced to host what will be the biggest rugby event in its history. For the first time since 2005, the British and Irish Lions will be in rugby's spiritual home, bringing more than 30,000 supporters with them. The 10-game schedule will put rugby at the forefront of the country's media agenda and NZ Rugby World will lead the way with this 116 page souvenir edition. This Lions' Tour Souvenir Issue provides avid and casual followers with everything they need to know: insight into the players in the teams, analysis of their respective strengths and weaknesses, compelling story-telling about previous tours, expert contributions, exclusive interviews and ultimately a magazine that New Zealanders and visiting fans will treasure.

New Zealand
Langhills Publishing Ltd
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4 min.
editor’s letter

THERE IS NOTHING QUITE like a Lions tour. Not the World Cup. Not the Bledisloe Cup, the Six Nations or the Rugby Championship. A Lions tour is something else. It generates a momentum all of its own and dances to a different beat to all other rugby. It remains the most curious and fascinating business that men from four different countries can lay down their arms as it were and unite behind one common goal. It is one of the magical powers that rugby has – that ability to make friends with enemies. And let’s be real, only a few weeks ago the players coming here with the Lions were plotting each other’s downfall. The Six Nations doesn’t lack for venom or passion and there are deep, historic tensions between all four countries…

1 min.
best lions v all blacks photos

9 min.
the ultimatechallenge

The novelty of a Lions tour is never likely to wear off. Not for New Zealand’s top players. The chance to play the Lions remains an enormous carrot – one that several of the country’s leading players have deliberately built their contracts around. When Kieran Read, Sam Whitelock and Ben Smith signed four-year deals in 2013, their two big goals were the 2015 World Cup and the 2017 British and Irish Lions tour. These are the landmark events that New Zealand’s best players want to be part of. These are the two events by which a career can be defined. Only one current All Black, Jerome Kaino, played against the Lions last time they were here and it is a source of regret for him that he only managed to do that in…

9 min.
restoring the lions pride

The Lions, in terms of commercial value, sit alongside the All Blacks. They can sell replica shirts. They can attract sponsors with minimal asking and they have tens of thousands of fans willing to follow them all over the world. The Lions are big business – much loved and much respected. But the perception of them in New Zealand is maybe a little different. It’s not that the Kiwis don’t love hosting the Lions. This is a nation with a respect for history and tradition, and everyone in New Zealand understands the Lions have a deep footprint in the former and are one of the last great, living relics of the past. No one in New Zealand is questioning why the Lions exist or why they have so many fierce defenders of their…

4 min.
lions in new zealand

1930 –2005 2005 PLAYED 10 | WON 6 | LOST 4 Captain: Brian O’Driscoll [Ireland] Coach: Sir Clive Woodward [England] Manager: Bill Beaumont [England] TEST SERIES ALL BLACKS 3-0 BRITISH & IRISH LIONS June 25 All Blacks 21-3 British & Irish Lions Christchurch July 2 All Blacks 48-18 British & Irish Lions Wellington July 9 All Blacks 38-19 British & Irish Lions Auckland TOP TEST POINTS SCORERS Daniel Carter [New Zealand] 44 Stephen Jones [Wales] 14 1993 PLAYED 13 | WON 7 | LOST 6 Captain: Gavin Hastings [Scotland] Coach: Ian McGeechan [Scotland] TEST SERIES ALL BLACKS 2-1 BRITISH & IRISH LIONS June 12 All Blacks 20-18 British & Irish Lions Christchurch June 26 All Blacks 7-20 British & Irish Lions Wellington July 3 All Blacks 30-13 British & Irish Lions Auckland TOP POINTS SCORERS Gavin Hastings [Scotland] 38 Grant Fox [New Zealand] 32 1983 PLAYED 18 | WON 12…

8 min.
stamping his mark

‘I really cherish the opportunity to lead the group of men we have. I enjoy playing with all these boys, they’re good mates of mine.’ KIERAN READ R ichie McCaw’s legacy was forged in the fires of one World Cup defeat and two contrasting World Cup triumphs. Kieran Read’s greatest challenge as All Blacks captain has been to respond to Ireland’s epic victory in Chicago last year, one which the men in green deserved to win to stake their own mark in history, but one which was shocking nevertheless. Now Read is on the brink of something else entirely. The upcoming British and Irish Lions tour is his first significant milestone event as skipper, and it could be that the defeat by a team at Soldier Field last November, which has a good…